Southwest Renewal Foundation of High Point: An Example for Sustainability

  • 2/10/2014

Piedmont Together looks at the big picture of economic revitalization, and much of the big picture includes the environment—both built and natural. Southwest High Point’s Renewal Foundation is an example of implementing change in an area of industrial decline through environmental enhancement. The foundation hopes to save revenue, support sustainability, attract business, create jobs, increase real estate values, and improve health in High Point.

The foundation's work is based on 10 environmental principles and includes five different project areas: going green, economic development, alternative transportation options, historic preservation, and promotion of the arts. Each project area is made up of several initiatives.

  • Going Green initiatives: planting trees, acquiring open space, controlling invasives through the use of Southwest Renewal goats, building sidewalks and bikelanes, and designing a greenway to connect six public parks.
  • Economic Development initatives: sponsoring antique sales, creating High Point furniture showroom tours and design seminars, exploring an arts and artisans busines incubator, revitalization, and street enhancement.
  • Alternative Transportation initatives: connecting the Southwest community to mass transit, passenger rail, and a local bus hub; working to allow electric vehicles on sidestreets; and creating bike lanes.
  • Historic Preservation initiatives: adding buildings to the national registry of historic places and preservation of architectural heritage for downtown residences and offices.
  • Arts initiatives: development of outdoor art, attracting artisans, planning harvest festivals in public parks, and investing in a summer outdoor theatre.

The Foundation's work is already drawing in business. Most recently, the Belgian furniture company BuzziSpace announced its decision to expand into High Point.

The Southwest Renewal Foundation began as a grassroots group in Spring 2011 and has been a 501(C)3 nonprofit foundation since May 2012. Learn more about the foundation.